There are an estimated 3.5 million unmarried couples in the United Kingdom, many of whom are part of an LGBTQIA+ relationship. You do not automatically have the rights that a couple in a marriage or civil-partnership have.
An unmarried couple should consider a cohabitation agreement which is a legally enforceable agreement between the parties outlining how the assets of the relationship should be dealt with if the relationship ends, as a result of either the death of one party or if the couple separates.
An Agreement provides clarity in a variety of ways. For example:
The financial responsibility, and divisional proportion of household bills and mortgage payments.
Protection or separation of sole and joint assets.
Childcare responsibilities and maintenance of any non-earning partner.
What either partner could expect should the relationship break down.
This should be coupled with a Will incorporating the same provisions.
A good cohabitation agreement can mean that areas of potential dispute on separation are reduced or eliminated
Many couples also find the process of making a cohabitation agreement means that they have the chance to think and talk about how living together is going to work financially, meaning that arguments and conflict about money and responsibilities are less likely later on.